PSYC18H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Alexithymia, Headache
Lecture 6: How do emotions pertain to the body.
1. Emotions and body action.
2. Emotions and bodily feelings.
1. Emotions and body action.
Emotion brings about reflexive body action.
Once induced by emotion, reflex actions:
a. Mediates between organism and environment.
b. Functions according to principle of self-preservation.
c. Automatic. i.e.: see a snake and immediately jumps back, this can’t be inhibited.
Harvey Carr: emotion calls for deliberate action.
“Emotional reactions are awakened when organism is unable to respond in an orderly and efficient fashion to a highly stimulating
*Emotion signals failure of instinct or presence of novelty. (instinct failed, so emotion help you plan in conscious ways, or when no
instinct is available to help in novel situations).
--How is emotion adaptive: Energy that can be discharged by the body, something that tends to “awaken a vigorous appropriate
adjustment”. Alert you about the problem, energize you to engage in problem solving.
John B. Watson: Pattern theory of emotion.
“An emotion is a hereditary pattern-reaction involving changes of bodily mechanism as a whole, but particularly of the visceral and
-Emotions: instinctive unconditional responses to environmental stimuli. Ex. Fear is not learned., sadness for the loss of a loved one is
not learned or conditioned. Rage as well.
-Two-part bodily response: organs, autonomic nervous system.
-Adds: Emotions can be swayed by conditioning. Ex. Increase/decrease emotion, desensitization.
Ex: Women who likes chocolate. Unconditioned stimulus (chocolate), unconditioned response (Liking), if shock them, liking will
Clearly: Emotion helps aid in self-preservation.
-heuristics for adaptive behavior (don’t overthink the situation, run when see bear)
- Leads to appraisal of good vs. bad (appropriate action, analyze if on the right course. If actions support our goal, feel positive emotion.
If not, negative emotion.)
- Aid in maintenance of homeostasis (maintain physiological stability, ensure feeding, warm, deliberately think what to do).
But: Emotions may also hinder. Ex: Yerkes-Dodson Law.
Peak performance at moderate arousal/stress.
2. Emotions and bodily feelings.
Emotions can cause, facilitate, interfere w/ bodily action.
Emotions also associated with bodily sensations: cause & caused by bodily sensations.
Fear/ anger Increase heart rate
Emotion caused by sensation: pain due to hunger, thirst cause depression, anxiety, anger.
Convention view: EVENT EMOTION-BODILY CHANGE + ACTION.
For James: EVENT BODILY CHANGE + ACTION EMOTION. (We feel sorry cause we cried, afraid cause we tremble).
**Facial expression lecture: Tomken—actions of muscles in face create emotion. Movement from limbs, tension of body and facial
muscles create emotion.
Ex: See a bear…
Convention: fear run.
James: run fear (because I ran away, I must be afraid).
Ex: Do you like pickles?
C: Think about pickle +Emotion (I like it) get a pickle (action).
J: Think about pickle I ate one yesterday (Think about action) +E (therefore I must like it).
Gregorio Maranon & W.B. Cannon
-Maranon inspired Cannon’s critique of James: What happens when inject people with adrenaline. (induce bodily change will lead to
emotion? Since James proposed that bodily changes induced emotion). inject people with adrenaline.
Adrenaline increase sympathetic activity, James would assume a change in emotion.
First-degree reaction 79%. (en froid, somatic disturbance) Second-degree reaction. 21%
Bodily changes Awareness of bodily arousal, awareness about autonomic nervous
-Felt the symptoms and know they are symptoms of a fear
Same as first degree reaction
Emotion changes Incomplete emotion. E.g., as if I were frightened, however, I am
Felt entire emotion.
*The 21% mistaken arousal for emotion because they have a psychological motif, superimposed on the autonomic reaction. (Stress in
life: lost a family member, lost job..).
•Neither findings supported James’ theory.
Maranon’s two-factor theory of emotion.
-In correspondence with findings, emotion is comprised of:
1. Bodily component (l’émotion végétative)
2. Psychological component. (l’émotion psychique)
-Co-presence of both enables a complete affective state. *Preferably, psychological before bodily.
Cannon’s official critique of James (recall James: autonomic specificity for emotion, can distinguish emotions by looking at different
style of activations in the body).
1. Same bodily changes accompany different emotions. Ex: general arousal response.
Ex: fear, anger, sexual desire… all show increase in sympathetic activation, h-rate, Adh.
2. Autonomic changes are incremental.
-Very small, can’t be the reason for emotion states.
Ex: difference in ANS activation between calm state and feeling furious is only a few extra heart beat/min.
3. Autonomic changes are too slow.
Feel emotion before body catches up. The immediate flush of fear is instantaneously, bodily changes take place at about 15-30s after
emotion is felt.
4. Autonomic changes for non-emotional experiences. Ex: jogging.
5. We are often insensitive to changes of ANS. Ex: monitoring heart rate can be difficult.
………. In accordance with this critique, the two factor theory. (Formalized by Schachter & Singer):
Bodily arousal + Appraisal.
How arousal is appraised:
-Schachter inspired by Festinger’s notion of evaluative needs… (how people explain their bodily feelings).
1. Based on previous knowledge about the situation. Ex: gunshot. If in dark alley = fear, in race field = excitement.
2. Social comparison (when in novel situations). What do I do? Look at what others are doing.
-Classic study by Schachter & Singer:
Manipulated state of arousal experimentally (saline vs. epinephrine= dry mouth, increase hear rate, trembles… it’s an adrenaline).
Manipulate extent of explanation of bodily state, tells you:
a. Very detail of what symptoms you will experience.
b. No explanation (ignorant)
c. Mis-informed.. ex. You will feel numb, itchy, headache.
Created situations from which explanatory cognitions may be derived (evaluative need).
Present with a role model that is either:
Euphoric: having fun. Vs. Angry (thinks the questionnaire is rude).
(L) Misinformed took on role model’s behavior. (R) Ignorant took on role model’s behavior.
-Misinformed and ignorant have evaluative need. Source of info is the role models. Informed don’t have evaluative need, won’t look to
role model, behave as they would, not affected by confederate. *Emotional reaction relies on: physio arousal + cognitive script.
Support for James.
Some emotions seem to have distinct autonomic responses.
Eg. Negative emotions distinguishable – can distinguish between disgust or other negative emotions. (Disgust doesn’t show
increase in heart rate).
Eg. Finger temperature is different in anger / fear state. (Warm in anger:
blood flow, perceive combat; cold in fear: flight,
blood to core).
Eg. Parasympathetic activity + compassion. –decrease heart rate for compassion.
Hohmann’s study: spinal cord injury.
-Decreased felt emotion in men; ﬂintensity for: sexual desire, fear, anger.
Bermond and colleague: failed to replicate Hohmann’s study, instead found an ›intensity of fear.
Perhaps limitation of both studies: few subjects, method was ask them to recall emotional experience before and after the injury.
Perhaps better result if studied emotion experience in vivo.
Alexithymia & Sense of coherence in patients with total spinal cord transection: O’Carrol et al. Does total spinal cord transection
affect ability to experience and identify emotions?
-Predicted elevated alexithymia scores: unable to identify emotions, confused about emotions.
-20 quadriplegic patient, matched with age, sex, education controls.